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252CIVIL WAR HISTORY beginning with the "Lyceum Address" ofJanuary 27, 1838, and ending with the "Second Inaugural Address" of March 4, 1865. According to Einhorn, it was Lincoln's rhetorical skills that brought him fame and catapulted him into the White House. To support that thesis, Einhorn quotes Henry Clay Whitney, a lawyer who rode the circuit with Lincoln in Illinois. Whitney claimed that Lincoln's rise to the presidency "was achieved entirely by oratory . He held no office; had no position where he could act; had no publication in which to air his views; no way to reach the public except by speeches" (xvii). From her background in rhetoric, Einhorn shares with her readers what Lincoln thought to be the most important aspects of his public speaking: speaking from conviction, having the listeners' best interests at heart, keeping passion under the control of reason, the careful choice of words, the use of stories and analogies to clarify and persuade, stating ideas clearly and concisely , and diligent preparation. Einhorn observes that "when Lincoln assumed the presidency, his speaking changed in significant and noticeable ways." For one thing, as president, his public speeches were less in number and shorter in length. More importantly , however, Lincoln's style moved from oratorical before his presidency to literary after assuming office. "Perhaps," writes Einhorn, "Lincoln found the best combination: successful speeches early in life that rocketed him to national power and more literary speeches later in life through which he continues to speak" (42). As an example, Einhorn points to the "Gettysburg Address ," which was not considered a great speech at the time of its delivery. "Paradoxically," says Einhorn, "had Lincoln made the type of changes that might have made the 'Gettysburg Address' a great speech in its occasion, he probably would not have composed a great piece of literature. Many of the factors that made the 'Address' a lasting success are precisely the factors that made it an immediate failure" (in). There are many other points of interest in this slim but well-written volume , such as Lincoln's use of humor and ridicule as rhetorical devices; his evolving rhetorical stances on slavery, race, and emancipation; and how it was that North and South each heard very different messages in the "First Inaugural Address." Einhorn has written a book that will interest rhetoricians and historians, as well as all those many others who simply enjoy reading about our Sixteenth President. David B. Chesebrough Illinois State University The Life and Wars ofGideon J. Pillow. By Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr. , and Roy P. Stonesifer, Jr. (Chapter Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. Pp. xvii, 455. $35.00.) It is all too easy to dismiss Gideon Pillow as a buffoon. His military record in two separate wars certainly provides ample support for such an interpre- BOOK REVIEWS253 tation. In the Mexican War he was appointed, despite his lack of experience, to the exalted rank of major general by President James Knox Polk, Pillow's Tennessee crony (but not his law partner, as is often carelessly assumed). He began on the wrong foot at Camargo by ordering the dirt excavated from a ditch to be piled on the wrong side, so as to protect any would-be attackers. Bungled attacks at Cerro Gordo and Contreras did little to redeem his reputation , nor did his penchant for intrigue, which led to the dismissal of his commanding general, Winfield Scott. In the Civil War, as a Confederate brigadier general, Pillow kept his string of ineptitude intact, culminating with the fiasco at Fort Donelson in February of 1862. Having managed to trap his command within an indefensible fort, he then pleaded the call of higher duty and skipped out, leaving his troops to surrender. Little wonder that Pillow earned low marks from his contemporaries. William T. Sherman, for one, characterized him as "a mass of vanity, conceit , ignorance, ambition, and want of truth." Winfield Scott thought Pillow "an anomaly": on the one hand "amiable and possessed of some acuteness," but, on the other hand, the only person he ever knew "who was wholly indifferent in the choice between truth and falsehood, honesty and dishonesty." Clearly, biographers who...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 252-253
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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